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Called 'Congling' in ancient China, Pamir is the necessary way on the Silk Road opened since Emperor Wudi of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC - 24 AD). A satellite image of the Pamir Mountains is just like a large quadrangle framed by mountain ranges, which maybe the reason of its name 'The roof of the world'. |
Geographically, most of the Pamir Mountains are located in Tajikistan, and the rest are in the western part of China's Xinjiang province and in north-western Afghanistan (Badakhshan province), consisting of a complex of high ranges, from which the Tianshan to the north, the Kunlun and Karakoram to the east, and the Hindu Kush to the west. It is a mountain knot, from which extend two great ranges the Alpine-Himalayan Belt and the Pamir-Chukchi Belt. It is the gathering part of the main ranges in Asia, including the Himalayas, the Tianshan, the Kunlun, the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush. It has many peaks higher than 6,100 meters (20,013 feet) in elevation and many glaciers. Its highest peak is the Mountain Kongur in China, about 7,719 meters (25,325 feet) high. Once you are up in the Pamir, you would be a little bit closer to heaven.
Some people divided the Pamir into two parts: Western Pamir (which is actually Badakhshan ) and the Eastern Pamir. The Western part is a country of high steep rocky mountains with small narrow valleys, small green villages located wherever people could find some land for cultivation and irrigation. The climate is continental, dry with warm and sunny summers and comparably cold winters. While the Eastern part is a country of high waste deserts, strong wind, dazzling sun and yaks. The word extreme is best used to describe the area: extreme cold, extreme dry, extreme sun-shine, extreme wind.
Since its high altitude, you would find nothing but a desert without habitations or any green thing even if you walked on several weeks. The region is so lofty and cold that you can not even see any birds flying. Meanwhile, because it is great cold, fire does not burn so bright, nor give out so much heat as usual. The slopes and high valleys are inhabited by hardier creatures, near-mythical animals such as the giant Marco Polo sheep and the rarely seen snow leopard.
Best Time to Visit: May to Sep.
Transportation: Visitors can rent a car or taxi from Urumqi or Kashgar City.
A. Traveling in the desert, you'd better take enough water and warm clothes with you;
B. An Oxygen bag is also necessary in Pamir.